A GLASGOW councillor has become the latest SNP defector to Alex Salmond’ s Alba Party, just hours before Nicola Sturgeon gives a campaign speech in the city.

Shettleston councillor Michelle Ferns, who claims she helped deliver the £500m equal pay settlement for female city workers, intends to stand on the Glasgow list for Holyrood in May.

The former Convener of Workforce previously worked for the Glasgow East MPs Natalie McGarry and David Linden.

Her her boasts on equal pay were disputed by one of the GMB organisers at the heart of the dispute.

Rhea Wolfson said Cllr Ferns was "not involved in the slightest- not in settlement negotiations, not in the chamber, not industrially, not in meetings with the Administration."

Cllr Ferns’s defection is the first on the SNP-run authority, and follows the defection of other SNP councillors in Inverclyde, West Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire.

Former SNP MPs Kenny MacAskill and Neale Hanvey and former national office bearers Lynn Anderson and Women’s convener Caroline McAllister have also switched.

The latest defection was announced ahead of the First Minister addressing the SNP campaign conference from Glasgow at 11am today.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond says he wants to help write next independence White Paper

Cllrs Ferns said: “I am delighted to join the Alba Party and to stand as a candidate in the regional list in Glasgow to help deliver a supermajority for independence.

“I am a mother of four and a lifelong advocate and campaigner for equalities, in particular, looking at the socio-economic drivers of inequality such as poverty and disability and the link between them. 

"I have been privileged to represent my ward in the East End of Glasgow for the last four years, a job I have loved.

“There is rightly a lot of focus on the Scottish Parliament by the people of Scotland

“I would be honoured to be a strong working-class voice within the party delivering for the people of Glasgow.

“As City Convener for Workforce in the historic first pro-independence administration in Glasgow, I was extremely proud to stand alongside women when we righted a historical injustice and secured Equal Pay settlements totalling over half a billion pounds for thousands of women across the city. 

“Life-changing amounts of money finally recognising the contribution made by our everyday unsung heroes. We know that when women are lifted out of poverty, so are children.

“I look forward to continuing to working constructively and engaging with Trade Unions in addressing fair work as a critical issue as we move towards recovery from the pandemic."

Mr Salmond said: "Michelle will be a great representative for the city of Glasgow.

"Through her role in helping deliver Glasgow’s historic equal pay settlement she has proven she is a strong advocate for social justice and women in the city."

Mr Salmond, 66, launched Alba last week with the goal of standing at least four candidates on each of the eight Holyrood regional lists in May.

The former first minister said Alba could pick up votes that would otherwise be "wasted" on the SNP under the parliament's proportional system, and so create a "supermajority for independence", with up to 90 of Holyrood's 129 MSPs elected on a Yes ticket.

READ MORE: Tommy Sheridan joins Alex Salmond's new party

He said that would put pressure on Boris Johnson to grant Indyref2, or, if not, legitimise street demonstrations.

Ms Sturgeon has said the move was driven by his "ego", and he should leave public life, given his inappropriate behaviour with women in the past.

Former Glasgow MSP Tommy Sheridan, who was jailed for perjury in 2011, yesterday announced he and his wife Gail had joined Alba, although it is unclear if either hope to stand as candidates for the party.

Mr Sheridan, who like Mr Salmond works for a Kremlin-funded media outlet, had been planning to stand for another list-only party, Action for Independence (AFI).

However effectively called off its campaign after Alba launched on Friday with the same plan.